On May 29, Gerald Laird changed his uniform number from 8 to 12 in the hope his offensive luck would change. Who could blame him for trying something — anything — to inject some life into his bat.
How’s it worked? He’s 2 for 16, or .125 since the switcheroo.
Before he had clubhouse guy Jim Schmakel sew him up a new uni, Laird was 16 for 101, or .158. And his overall stats for Laird while wearing #8 — the ones we’ll compare below with his predecessors are: .184 avg., 5 HR, .271 OBP, .553 OPS
This uniform-change ploy got me thinking about recent Tigers players that wore number 8 or number 12 to see which had the best offensive numbers and if, based on recent history (going back to 1995ish), Laird might luck out by some numerical karma.
Continue reading “Gerald Laird Likely to Lose at His Uniform-Number Shell Game”
Two weeks ago I wrote that the Tigers had few options for the struggling Max Scherzer.
Given their inconsistent rotation, I couldn’t see them sending him to the minors.
Then again, who knew he’d be as abysmally bad as he was in his final start on May 14: five IP, six hits, six earned runs, three homers against the Red Sox. After that performance the club had no choice but to send him to Triple-A.
Scherzer has been lights out in two Toledo starts: 15 innings, one run, four hits, 17 strikeouts and a 0.60 ERA. It certainly will be interesting to see how he fares on Sunday agains the A’s.
Now, the question without an answer at this point is, of course, who gets moved out to make room for Scherzer. There are a few candidates, none of them surprising:
- Armando Galarraga — He’s been anything but stellar since being recalled and has a minor-league option.
- Brad Thomas — He’ll likely stick around because he’s a wrong-hander but he’s survived this far, so who knows?
- Ryan Perry — The kid’s had a miserable week but has been reliable for most of the year. Will his two bad outings this week convince the Tigers he needs a visit to the Glass City?
- Don Kelly — Jim Leyland loves the guy so that works in Kelly’s favor. He has no remaining options which means he’d have to clear waivers, and that ain’t happening.
Under different circumstances, you could see them sending Alex Avila but there’s no viable option in the minors.
So, I’m guessing that it’s Perry … maybe. Or Galarraga. I’ll be stunned if it’s Kelly.
In less than a few hours we’ll know for sure.
Who do you think gets demoted?
In the latest episode of the podcast, Ian and I reviewed the looming roster decisions facing Jim Leyland and the Tigers. Today we have answers.
All that’s left to decide is the 25th man. Will it be Don Kelly or Clete Thomas? They both bat from the left side, so you can cross that off the list of criteria.
Looking at the scene today at Comerica Park — brilliant blue skies, a sun-drenched field — I can’t help but think back to three years ago today when the Tigers choked on a golden opportunity to win a division title. History repeating itself?
- Dan Gladden made an interesting point on the pre-game interview with Jim Price Wednesday evening. The Twins don’t have a Latin coach on their big-league staff and Orlando Cabrera has helped calm some of the club’s Latin players. I wonder what impact the Tigers’ infield coach Rafael Belliard has had on Miguel Cabrera, Ramon Santiago, et al? We know he worked wonders with Cabrera’s defensive work at first base. How much did the language thing play into it?
- The last Tigers’ division champion relied on contributions from several rookies including Scott Lusader, Jim Walewander, Matt Nokes and Mike Henneman. This year’s club has Rick Porcello, Alex Avila and Ryan Perry. At this point, 1987 wins on contributors and championships. For now.
- From the moment I saw the Tigers’ 2009 schedule, I didn’t like them playing the White Sox to end the season under any circumstances. Now the Tigers have to win two of three if they want to guarantee a championship. The weekend starts by facing Jake Peavy on Friday night, and then the Tigers are counting on Alfredo Figaro on Saturday? Yeah, things are certainly aligning nicely for Detroit.
Finally, Happy 63rd Birthday, 1968 Tiger Jon Warden.
So where does last night’s dust-up rank in the annals of Tigers bench clearers?
Well, it wasn’t as interesting as the 1980 Tigers/White Sox brawl (a.k.a. Cowens v. Farmer Grudge Match), nor as violent as Tigers/White Sox circa 2000. Here’s a refresher on that one:
Sixteen players, coaches and managers suspended. Nine others fined. It was, MLB said, “the biggest mass suspension ever.”
That was the end result of two brawls that erupted at Comiskey Park, one in the seventh inning, the other in the ninth. In the sixth, the Tigers Jeff Weaver hit Carlos Lee with a pitch. In retaliation, Chicago’s starter, Jim Parque, plunked Detroit’s Dean Palmer in the top of the seventh. Palmer charged the mound, throwing his helmet at Parque before the real action started.
…And it wasn’t as wild as Tigers/Twins in 1982, which featured Dave Rozema‘s flying-kung-fu acrobatics on Twins’ John Castino.
What do you think? Take this week’s Pulse Check –>
Continue reading “Wednesday Walewanders: Fisticuffs Edition”
If you’re still scratching your head about the Tigers’ roster moves on Tuesday, here’s at least one answer for you: Alex Avila will wear number 13.
I didn’t like Josh Anderson wearing Lance Parrish‘s old number but feel a smidge better that a catcher will wear it this time.
What do you think of the recent surge of roster moves? Cast your vote in the latest Fungo Pulse Check –>